Another key consumer trend worth watching is consumers increasingly wanting to buy fresh bakery products online through a bakery’s website. This is a trend emerging at panaderías.

In 2018, just over one-fourth of shoppers (26%) purchased groceries online in the past 30 days. According to the latest findings, that number has now ballooned to 55%, making the online marketplace an ever more critical juncture for consumers to find their preferred brands and discover new ones. For example, 47% said discovery of new products – including information about sourcing and manufacturing processes – is easier online, compared to 23% saying harder and 30% saying about the same. When it comes to online shopping and transparency shoppers say they want faster delivery (42%), easier to use websites (37%), more and better product information (30%), retention of order history (29%), more accurate search functionality (28%) and product recommendations based on preferences (23%).

Supermarkets’ day-to-day functions are dependent on staffing and onsite leadership, according to Eric Richard, industry relations coordinator for IDDBA. Richard cites several options for meeting consumers where they are in the moment while still ensuring a quality experience. The commissary model, a popular pre-pandemic option, offers a way to make product offsite for several stores within the chain. Another is the creation of a robust ecommerce platform with a strong focus on fresh bakery products.

“A lot of stores who weren’t prepared for online and ecommerce are still playing catch-up,” he said. “It’s important that a platform represents as much of the store as possible, and consumers are looking for fresh options, too. Work to create an engaging experience because this won’t be going away. People are buying online.”

Although digital carry-out orders doubled through the pandemic, there was a double-digit decline in non-digital pickup orders that account for a majority of pickup orders. In the year ending February 2022, 76 percent of carry-out were non-digital orders, and these orders declined by 16 percent compared to the prior year.

“Several factors have encouraged consumers to move away from ordering carry out. The convenience of drive-thrus, delivery, and mobile ordering, in addition to dining room closures, have influenced consumers’ willingness to get out of their car, walk into a restaurant, and order to go,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America. “Convenience rules and the more convenient options will win.”